Category Archives: ICE CREAM

POLISH TREATS IN KRAKOW

ICE CREAM IN KRAKOW, POLAND

It’s a new year, 2019. Time to add to my blogging style and give you wonderful followers my fantastic and memorable Travel Food memories. Through my traveling I’ve experienced so many foods along the way that I need to share them all. Keeping the photo files uploaded means they’ll never get seen really so….for 2019 I’m going to add my travels and the foods I encountered to my blog. I’ll continue to blog my recipes from my home kitchen as well. More to read. More to share. More to learn. In July of 2015 for our family vacation we did a road trip through Central Europe. Now the best airfare we found for the 4 of us routed us on Turkish Airlines so first stop was Turkey. After a sizeable layover it was off to our first destination, Belgium. From Belgium we rode a train to our second stop, Amsterdam, Netherlands. Next was renting a car there and embarking on a 1600 mile drive from the Netherlands, to Germany, to the Czech Republic, to Poland, to Slovakia, to Hungary, to Austria. There we boarded a plane for our return flight home via Istanbul. So we added a few days in Turkey at the end of the trip. Our trip itineraries usually revolve around our flights. I grew up in very ItalianAmerican Staten Island but not in an Italian neighborhood. I was raised in the Travis section of this part of New York City and it was a sleepy little town that we often called Mayberry, like the fictional town of the 60’s show, the Andy Griffith Show. Only it was filled with Polish people, some Austrian, Hungarian, Czech and Slovak, Russian. Because of this I’ve always had a very sentimental place in my heart for anything Polish. It was like my adopted 2d nationality. Hearing the language often spoken in the Catholic church we attended, St. Anthony of Padua, being familiar with the Polish Language signage in the church, the hymns, the peoples’ last names made Poland a place I’d had on my bucket list. This trip was the ticket to finally see Poland and while there see the Auschwitz Birkenau Concentration Camp, also high on our list of things to experience. I must admit, it was one of the most heart wrenching and moving experiences of our lives. The route we mapped out (we do all our own travel planning) only allowed a few days in the city of Krakow and we made the most of it.

Poland did not disappoint us and in fact we were surprised at so many things we encountered. It’s a beautiful place. Verdant, pleasant spaces, well maintained medieval squares, churches, castles, buildings, but the people. They are wonderful. And so is the Ice Cream. I’m starting this travel food post with the ice cream. A small place on Stolarska, a medieval street that was infront of our hotel, the HOTEL SANTI was where we first had this delicious sweet creamy ice cream. Now most likely these ice creams we had were not made in Poland, Nestle Scholler is a German company and Movenpick is a Swiss company. But we had them in Poland. I had a cup with two scoops and I went for the two you see in the picture. BAKALIA is a Polish flavor made of Nuts and Dried Fruits in a Vanilla Ice Cream Base. If you like Rum Raisin you’ll love this flavor. So right there, something Polish, something new, something Travel Food. I still haven’t seen BAKALIA here in the USA which makes these memories fantastic. OWOCE LESNE was my other choice. Any Ice cream that is that color ALWAYS gets my vote. This is a popular flavor which translates as “Forest Fruit” or “Wild Fruit”. Basically is a mixed berry flavor and that rich ice cream was like eating bowls of ripe fruit. But better. Because it was Ice cream!! lol. This flavor is apparently loved by the Poles as you find teas infused with it in all the shops. Strolling back to our hotel after a full morning sightseeing, having a kielbasa and pierogi lunch, topping it off with that ice cream…Those are the dreams travel is made off. The 3 minute walk back to the hotel was only made sweeter with a street musician on one corner and Polish Caramels waiting for us in our hotel room.

KENTUCKY DERBY WALNUT AND CHOCOLATE PIE…FOR DERBY DAY AND BEYOND

1907996_284906375011003_4427021404753604595_nIn the city of Louisville, Kentucky on the first Saturday of May each year the horserace known as the KENTUCKY DERBY is held.  It’s pretty much become a national event but no where is it more celebrated than in Louisville.  I remember going there 3 days after the event a few years ago to visit clients and remember all the decorations and banners that were still up for the “RUN FOR THE ROSES”.  In true A FOOD OBSESSION style I came home with a few new food ideas and some local cookbooks.  I also made my way over to the BROWN HOTEL to have the American classic sandwich, the HOT BROWN, named for it’s location of birth.  A Hot Brown is a broiled open faced sliced Turkey breast sandwich on thick white bread with Mornay Sauce, Parmigiano, Tomato and Bacon.  It’s amazing.  That trip introduced me to another Louisville cuisine creation, the DEBRY PIE.  Let’s get something out of the way first.  Unless you buy one from Kern’s Kitchen, the business which invented it in 1950 by Walter and Leaudra Kern at their Melrose Inn , Prospect , Kentucky, you cannot call it DERBY PIE.  In 1968 they smartly trademarked the name and while there’s no crime in creating a pie that is similar, you can NEVER call it DERBY PIE. So there you go.  Instead call it anything you like, but since it’s part of Kentucky Derby food culture  I will call it KENTUCKY DERBY WALNUT AND CHOCOLATE PIE.  Whew. Now I’m safe.  The Kern’s have sued over 25 times to protect there trademarked name so remember, you don’t want to be the next victim.  LOL.  The pie is sort of a mashup of a southern Pecan pie with chocolate and a Toll House Pie, sort of.  The recipe I use came from the Washington Post:

SERVINGS: 6 – 8
INGREDIENTS
  • One 8- or 9-inch unbaked pie shell
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 cup walnuts, coarsely ground
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Fresh whipped cream for garnish(optional)
  • 2 tablespoons Kentucky Bourbon

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Have an 8 or 9-inch pie plate at hand.

Place the unbaked pie shell in the plate. Sprinkle the bottom of the pie shell evenly with chocolate chips.

Whisk together the eggs, 1 cup of sugar and flour in a mixing bowl. Gradually mix in the butter, then add the nuts and vanilla extract and bourbon. Carefully pour mixture over the chocolate chips, in a circular motion so it does not disturb the chips. Bake for 1 hour, until the filling is set.

Should be served warmed up…top with the Whipped Cream, over even better, which a good Vanilla Ice Cream….a drizzle of hot chocolate sauce, maybe whipped cream too, up to you.  It’s delicious..and it’s fantastic all on it’s own, it’s rich.  HAPPY KENTUCKY DERBY DAY!!!

AFFOGATO,ITALY’S COFFEE AND ICE CREAM TREAT

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An amazingly flavored dessert/drink that comes from Italy is the perfect idea for your Summer entertaining (ok, not just Summer but i’m trying to play up the seasonal thing here).  It’s called AFFOGATO and it means DROWNED.  A scoop (s) of usually VANILLA GELATO is placed in a chilled glass, cup , or bowl and hot ESPRESSO is poured over it.  Let’s talk here for a moment.  I’m American so I will have to say, you can use a good creamy naturally flavored VANILLA ICE CREAM and a good strong BLACK COFFEE for this treat.  It’s way better though when you stick to the original and proper when possible and find (or make if you’re into that) Vanilla Gelato and make a pot of Espresso.  Now again, since I’m American I’m almost forced into telling you that you can top this with Amaretti Crumbs, Shaved Chocolate, I guess the sky is the limit.  I will also tell you that now you are making an Ice Cream Sundae of sorts and you’ve sucked the Italian soul completely out of the mix.  Americans LOVE having lots of varieties especially when it comes with toppings. Me, I’m more the purist and I prefer this as the Italians intended it to be made.  Lots of overkill “recipes” for this on the web.  Why complicate???

To  make this tasty treat…simply scoop Vanilla Gelato or Ice Cream into a chilled glass that can withstand heat, we want no accidents here..or into a bowl (safer),then for each scoop, 1 1/2 ounces of hot espresso over the top.  Serve…eat/drink enjoy.    This, along with a platter of cut Summer fruits and berries and some biscotti is a great way to end a Summer’s meal.

The picture is of an AFFOGATO I enjoyed for dessert at the OBICA’ MOZZARELLA BAR, Canary Wharf, London     ( I know, that’s not Italy, but so what,It’s Europe..LOL) in July 2014 on family vacation (or should I say Holiday since it was in London???).  Just to keep my authenticity badge, I have had this in Italy but there’s not corresponding picture.  So there’s that.  Now enjoy the Summer and enjoy the foods and gatherings that make it the great season it is.

Now if you want to expand on the basic “affogato” as nature intended it…here’s some ideas, for you boozy adults, a bit of your favorite Liquore, think ones that go well with vanilla and coffee like Amaretto, Fra Angelico, Kaluha….or for the non boozy types some Nutella, Chocolate or Caramel Syrup.  I’ll keep mine gelato and espresso.  Enjoy!!

 

SPUMONI, A GIFT FROM NAPLES, AN IMMIGRANT STORY, AN ITALIAN AMERICAN INVENTION

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  Who doesn’t love an immigrant story…especially one where what’s
been brought from their native country is transplanted into the new country and winds up being more popular today
in the new country than in it’s country of origin.  Americans are many times looked at as newbies in the cultural time-
lines of the world but what Americans have a knack for is holding onto those traditions that their ancestors brought
with them.  I was once told by an Italian that much of what comprises the Italian-American cultural tradition is on
the downswing in Italy and in many cases, America just made what might have been a small regional tradition into
a big deal on this side of the Atlantic.  One such tradition, a food tradition (of course it would be food I’m talking
about) is SPUMONI.  Chances of finding Spumoni all over Italy today would be pretty rare.  Why?  It was never
something that was eaten/made up and down the boot.  It most likely is from the city of Naples, or Napoletana, or
Neapolitan.  Follow this evolution, Spumoni is a frozen dessert, cream with whipped cream added, sort of a
frozen mousse  usually done in three flavors…a chocolate, a vanilla or pistachio, and a cherry..touched with the
flavorings you would find in an Italian Pastry shop..like candided fruits, cherries, pistachios, almonds, rum,,
cinnamon oil, the usual suspects.  The layers are pressed into a mold and it’s frozen, served in slices or scoops.
Remember I said “Neapolitan?  The Ice Cream flavor in the U.S. called Neapolitan which is a mix of vanilla,
chocolate and strawberry takes it’s idea from Spumoni, which comes from Naples.  Interesting stuff.   Here in
the U.S. Spumoni is generally found in the areas with higher Italian Populations.  Of course, whenever I talk my
own childhood history, Staten Island comes into play.  Nearly every spumoni I shoveled into my childhood face was
made at an Ice Cream factory in Staten Island called SEDUTTO’S ICE CREAM.  An immigrant from the area
around Naples,
10965_1151469789308_1304531591_30356921_1242298_nGiuseppe (Joseph) Sedutto immigrated to NYC and worked as a pastry chef in NYC’s fancy hotels
of the day.    Along with his brothers, he began the Sedutto Ice Cream Company in
Staten Island and grew it into a large operation that primarily served hotels, catering halls, and restaurants with
their Italian frozen desserts, like Spumoni, Tortoni, Bombes, plus Ice Cream Cakes, Ice Creams.  Every meal
out or catered affair of my youth ended with a “log” of Spumoni or a paper cup of Tortoni.  I’m going to guess
that the first spumoni that found it’s way passed my lips was Sedutto’s.  Here’s a picture of an actual Sedutto’s
Spumoni from the 1973 Catalog. 
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Seriously, If you have a food memory, the Internet is loaded with proof that you really did remember something
correctly. There is it…my God did I love    when that “log”, actually a slice of Spumoni was served at the end of the
meal.  To this day I love Spumoni.  Unfortunately the Staten Island connection with Spumoni is long gone, the
Sedutto family sold the business to big corporate America and then one day it was gone. The lead picture in this
post still has my hands sticky from eating it.  August 22 is designated as National Spumoni Day, so, off to Ralph’s
Ices (another Staten Island institution who thankfully has a few locations now down here at the Jersey Shore) for
a celebration of Spumoni Day.  That cup in the picture was damn delicious.  Hold on while I take another lick.  Ok,
back to blogging…If you are ever in Brooklyn, the iconic L & B Spumoni Gardens is a place to enjoy a great meal and
their signature Sicilian pizza, finishing the meal off with their Spumoni..
http://www.spumonigardens.com/

Another Spumoni mecca in the United States is Angelo Brocato in New Orleans, on my bucket list…their slice of
Spumoni looks amazing   How beautiful
is that????  20 Angelo-Brocato-New-Orleans
I’ve never made Spumoni, and quite frankly, probably never will, this is one thing that i don’t mind buying out..but, in
True A FOOD OBSESSION style I will give you a recipe, courtesy of Lidia Bastianich, who else??

http://www.lidiasitaly.com/recipes/detail/811

Check that out, make it if you care to, i’ve never used the recipe, so, if it doesn’t come out right, well, that’s my warning,
but Lidia, really…i don’t think you have to worry about using her recipes, I’m comfortable posting it to here for you.

As this August 21, 2014, National Spumoni Day comes to a close I’ll remember  how excited   as a kid I’d get when
we would drive along Richmond Terrace in Port Richmond and pass the Sedutto’s Factory…I knew there was
Spumoni  behind those doors!  006


Another web find…a pic of Sedutto’s Factory in 1953.   Make your delicious memories even more delicious by
creating or finding those foods that were part of your personal history.  It’s why I blog, post, and share.
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